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[16days_discussion] URGENT - The WRDresolution needs support- Twitter Campaign

Cristina Hardaga cristinahf.jass at gmail.com
Tue Nov 26 13:34:30 EST 2013


Dear colleagues,



We are one day before the resolutions for the protection of women human
rights defenders goes to discussion.This is the first time a resolution on
the situation and significance of women human rights defenders has been put
on the table.  So, we have some hours to make more noise about the
importance of the resolution and name the States that are not co-sponsoring
or the ones who are silent against the attacks to the spirit of the
resolution, and also congratulate the ones that have and ask them why
supporting the resolution is important!(You will find more info at the end
of the mail)



*No African State and very few Asian States have co-sponsored yet.  Ask
them why not! *



For today and tomorrow we proposed to help us sending tweet messages to the
State Delegations in the UN.  Attached you will find a directory of the
particular States we need to address and some message proposals.



Feel free to send the message you want, but always using the hashtag
*#protectWHRDs
#WHRDsResol  *so we can track them.



In case you need more information, please feel free to contact us through
our twitter account or to the mail cristinahf.jass at gmail



Regards,



ISHR and JASS, Just Associates teams

More Info:

List of co-sponsors:



Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El
Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia , Germany , Greece, Guatemala,
Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco,
Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, UK, USA,
Uruguay, Vanuatu.

*MORE INFO*

As maybe you are aware, Norway is coordinating in the UN General Assembly’s
work to pass a resolution for the protection of women human rights
defenders. This is the first time a resolution on the situation and
significance of women human rights defenders has been put on the table.

A group of international organizations - JASS included, coordinated by
the *International
Service for Human Rights*, are working to call on States from all regions
to support the resolution and to resist moves to weaken the text by
removing references to sexual and reproductive health, reproductive rights
and sexuality.


We are hoping to have the resolution approve by the 25th of November, but
by now there are reportedly 16 amendments coming from the African Group and
probably more coming from the 'usual suspects' (Russia, China, Cuba and
friends), with support also coming from Arab Gr.

There are still no African cosponsors on board so no States in that group
are actively supporting the resolution. There are very, very few Asian
states as well (only Maldives, Lebanon and Japan. Jordan withdrew their
co-sponsorship this week.

The International Human Rights Service is coordinating efforts with the
civil society and governmental actors to promote the resolution.

At this moment, the most important actions are make public statements,
write op ed and talk to your governments. Urge them to support the text as
it is. Urge them to vote against amendments if it comes to that but also to
stand strong in the face of the counter-lobbying and talk to other
countries that haven't yet about supporting the text through cosponsorship.
 Here you can find the Official Draft of the resolution WHRDefenders with
full list of cosponsors:
http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/C.3/68/L.64/Rev.1


*Here are some of the most recent public statements made to support the
WHRDefendersResolution. *



*Who Is Protecting Women Human Right Defenders?* *Article,* Posted:
11/25/2013. *Jody Williams, Political Activist and Nobel Laureate.*In
January 2012 I traveled to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala and heard
testimony from over 200 hundred women who face repeated and serious attacks
as a result of their grassroots work to defend human rights.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jody-williams/who-is-protecting-women-human-right-defenders_b_4319942.html?1385392331




*'We must protect women human rights defenders' *An open
letter<http://www.ishr.ch/sites/default/files/article/files/2013_11_open_letter_by_gro_harlem_brundtland_and_hina_jilani_-_unga_reso.pdf>
from
two of the world's leading human rights defenders and members of 'The
Elders' to Member States of the United Nations.  Gro Harlem Brundtland is a
former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World
Health Organization. Hina Jilani is a lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner
from Pakistan. She was UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders
from 2000-2008. Both are members of The Elders (www.theElders.org), a group
of independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, working
for peace, justice & human rights worldwide.- See more at:
http://www.ishr.ch/news/we-must-protect-women-human-rights-defenders#sthash.05fZbKYa.dpuf



*Nobel Laureates to UN: Support Resolution on Women Human Rights Defenders.
* The Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative are calling on members
states of the United Nations to support a resolution that would call for
greater protection for women human rights defenders. November 22, 2013
http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Nobel-Women_WHRDResolution_Nov2013.pdf?ref=18



More Information

http://www.ishr.ch/news/governments-should-support-strong-international-resolution-women-human-rights-defenders#sthash.NNTJguki.dpuf



Please do not hesitate in contact me, in case you need more information.



Cristina Hardaga


    Who Is Protecting Women Human Right Defenders?
Posted: 11/25/2013 10:11 am

   [image: Jody Williams] <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jody-williams>
 Jody Williams <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jody-williams>

Political Activist and Nobel Laureate

This Friday, to mark the eighth anniversary of the International Women
Human Rights Defenders Day, we will celebrate women around the world
standing on the frontlines. These women are defending their land and the
environment and providing a voice to the voiceless. They are working to
protect their families, friends and communities from rape and violence,
impunity and discrimination. We will applaud their courage, resilience and
strength.

But on this anniversary we must also ask: who is protecting the defenders?

In January 2012 I traveled to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala and heard
testimony from over 200 hundred women who face repeated and serious attacks
as a result of their grassroots work to defend human rights.

Berta, an indigenous land rights activist from Honduras, recounted the day
soldiers kidnapped and raped her colleagues in an attempt to find weapons
that the soldiers allege they hid in their vaginas. Berta is now facing
criminal charges brought by the Honduran government against her for her
work to stop the building of a hydroelectricity dam that threatens to
displace indigenous communities. Diodora told me about how Guatemalan
mining officials attempted to have her assassinated for being outspoken
about rejecting a mining development in her mountainous community.
Valentina, despite going to endless lengths to seek justice after members
of the Mexican military raped her, fears for her safety as the perpetrators
of her rape continue to walk the streets freely. Other defenders told me
stories of colleagues arbitrarily detained, disappeared and murdered.

These women are not alone. Women human rights defenders -- women working in
defense of human rights, including the rights of women and gender-related
rights -- are under attack around the world.

A report by Margaret Sekaggya, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
Defenders, creates a damning picture of just how dangerous it is to be a
woman human rights defender: documented cases of death threats, rape, smear
campaigns and the criminalization of their work by state authorities. The
report notes that male human rights defenders do not experience the same
high rates of violence -- but why?

The answer is clear: women who stand up for human rights are a threat to
the status quo. These women are a threat in societies that view women has
second-class citizens. State and non-state actors have therefore retaliated
against women defenders and the work they do to promote gender equality and
women's participation in public life.

In Honduras, when the democratically elected government of Manual Zelaya
was overthrown in 2009 and women took to the streets to protest, registered
femicides (the targeted killing of women) went up by 62 percent. And such
violence has not slowed down. In 2012, the Mesoamerican Initiative
registered 119 attacks on women activists throughout the country.

Yet sadly, in Honduras -- as in most countries in the world -- there are no
special measures in place to ensure that women defenders can do their work
without fear of retribution and violence. The rights of women to
participate in public life, including through the promotion and protection
of human rights, is well established in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and many international treaties. But that is not enough. We need to
concretely demonstrate how much we value the work women human rights
defenders do in challenging stereotypes and promoting women's empowerment.
Governments need to commit to their safety and protection.

Now, U.N. countries have a chance to do just that.

Earlier this month, the United Nations tabled a draft resolution for the
Protection of Women Human Rights Defenders. The resolution is a call to
member states to recognize the extraordinary threats faced by women human
rights defenders and employ measures to protect them. This long-overdue
resolution is an unprecedented show of international support for women
defenders and the groundbreaking work they do to promote all human rights.

So far, only 65 member States of the UN have declared their support for the
resolution and some of the states have attempted to change the text of the
resolution in an effort to weaken the integrity and scope of the
resolution. As an international community, we can do better than that. Ask
officials in your country to support the resolution, in its entirety.

Women are transforming communities everywhere, but they cannot complete
their work if they are targets of violence. Let us stand in solidarity with
women human rights defenders worldwide and then marvel in the power they
will unleash in the name of equality, peace and justice.

*This post is part of a series produced by The *Huffington Post* and the
Nobel Women's Initiative, spotlighting women working globally for peace,
justice and equality as part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender
Violence campaign. For more information about the Nobel Women's Initiative
and 16 Days, click here. URL: www.nobelwomensinitiative.org
<http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/>*



***** <http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/>*
'We must protect women human rights defenders'
  25.11.2013

*An open letter
<http://www.ishr.ch/sites/default/files/article/files/2013_11_open_letter_by_gro_harlem_brundtland_and_hina_jilani_-_unga_reso.pdf>
from
two of the world's leading human rights defenders and members of 'The
Elders' to Member States of the United Nations.*

The UN General Assembly votes this week on a resolution to protect women
human rights defenders.

This vote recognises the courageous women who defy patriarchy every day,
everywhere in the world, to champion human rights. They hold communities
together in times of war – and hold the key to building peaceful
communities when the guns go silent. In so many male-dominated
institutions, they campaign for women’s voices to be heard. They stand with
men in public squares to challenge autocratic leaders.

These women embody the commitment made by the international community in
1948 when the world enshrined the equal rights of all human beings “without
distinction of any kind” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UN recognises and protects the vital role played by human rights
defenders. But there is a growing consensus that women who choose to
challenge human rights abuses face particular risks and need particular
protection. They can be harassed and verbally abused.  They face
gender–based violence including rape. Their children and their families may
be targeted. Often, they come up against entire systems of laws and
cultural values designed to silence them.

In the past, resolutions on human rights defenders have passed in the UN
General Assembly by consensus. But we are very concerned that not all
countries are prepared to support this week’s vote.

To be clear, a vote to protect women human right defenders is a vote for
human rights.

On the other hand, a vote against the bravery, sacrifice and determination
of millions of women worldwide is a vote against the values to which we
aspire. It is a vote against dignity and hope.

We urge all Member States of the General Assembly to do the right thing and
vote in favour.

*Gro Harlem Brundtland** is a former Prime Minister of Norway and former
Director-General of the World Health Organization. Hina Jilani is a lawyer
and pro-democracy campaigner from Pakistan. She was UN Special
Representative on Human Rights Defenders from 2000-2008.*

*Both are members of The Elders (www.theElders.org
<http://www.theElders.org>), a group of independent global leaders, brought
together by Nelson Mandela, working for peace, justice & human rights
worldwide.*

*Photo: Courtesy of The Elders*
- See more at:
http://www.ishr.ch/news/we-must-protect-women-human-rights-defenders#sthash.05fZbKYa.dpuf


* <http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/>*

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